1 elder. “The elder” is, of course, the beloved disciple John. The vocabulary, tone and content of this short epistle clearly prove that it was written by the same author as John’s gospel and his first epistle. He evidently called himself “the elder” both because he was an old man by this time and also because the various churches of Asia (to whom his letters were undoubtedly circulated) all acknowledged him as entitled to this official designation. Uniform tradition holds that he was the presiding elder, or bishop, of the church at Ephesus in particular, but all these churches honored and respected him as holding apostolic authority.